Faced with a growing financial deficit due to the continuing downturn in air traffic activity and “significant bad debt expenses,” Nav Canada revealed that it must increase its air navigation service charges by an average of 6.9 percent. Under a Nav Canada proposal, the new charges would go into effect August 1, and increased annual and quarterly charges would be implemented on March 1 next year. Comments are due by July 14.
Aviation International News » June 2003
At the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition last month, Boeing introduced a corporate shuttle version of its Boeing 717 regional airliner, dubbing it the 717 Business Express. The aircraft might also find favor in an all-business-class airliner guise.
NBAA has narrowed its list of potential successors to president Jack Olcott to three candidates, and the announcement of who will take the organization to “another level” is expected sometime this month.
In a continuing realignment of its Beechcraft and Hawker product lines, Raytheon Aircraft announced at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition last month in Geneva that it is dropping the venerable Beechjet 400A name and replacing it with Hawker 400XP.
Former interim president Michael Redenbaugh did not return to his previous job at Honeywell as reported. Instead, he accepted the post of CEO at Bell Helicopter. Redenbaugh, 44, succeeds John Murphey, who has been named Bell chairman emeritus after spending less than 18 months in the top slot. Murphey will focus on “strategic business development.”
President Bush planned to sign legislation that will increase from 30 percent to 50 percent the first-year depreciation allowance for capital goods, including aircraft. The provision, part of the Jobs and Growth Tax Act of 2003 passed by Congress late last month, “should be a big boost to general aviation,” said General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Ed Bolen. “This is a real financial incentive to buy airplanes now.”
Galileo, Europe’s $4.2 billion rival to GPS, is in jeopardy of cancellation following clashes between EU nations over project budgeting, officials said. Several EU nations have voiced concern about Galileo’s high cost, complaining they have been left out of commercial bidding negotiations. The first Galileo satellites need to be launched by 2005 or Europe may have to forfeit frequencies allotted by the International Telecommunications Union.
AOPA has proposed that the city of Chicago apply for $41 million in federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funding to buy Meigs Field from its current owner, the Chicago Park District. AOPA president Phil Boyer said, “The funds will give [the Park District] significant resources to improve existing parks and create a new one on Northerly Island where there’s adequate space for both Meigs and a park to exist.”
Flight Options, the second-largest fractional operator behind NetJets, and Raytheon Aircraft Services (RAS) reached an agreement in which RAS will provide all maintenance for the operator’s entire fleet. RAS will dedicate additional facilities for Flight Options maintenance, and all Flight Options mechanics will become RAS employees.
According to the NTSB, faulty maintenance contributed to the crash of an Air Midwest Beech 1900D seconds after taking off from Charlotte, N.C., on January 8, killing all 21 people aboard. At a hearing last month, the Safety Board said that during routine maintenance two days and several flights before the accident, a contract mechanic improperly retensioned control cables, possibly preventing full deflection of the elevator.